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Leilia Hackberry Butterfly
Empress Leilia

Asterocampa leilia


Photo © by Mike Plagens

This male and female pair were observed at Tortilla Flat, Maricopa Co., Arizona, April 2009.

photo by Bruce Walsh Along canyons and washes in the Sonoran Desert where Desert Hackberry grows this butterfly is a familiar site. Their habit is to perch on the ground and defend that spot against intruders. They will return to the spot again and again. Rarely do they visit flowers - but carrion and manure are irresistable. The wing span is from 6 cm. Males and females have different wing shapes: the male forwing is more pointed presumably for faster, more agile flight useful for combating rivals.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009